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November and December 2011 - Table of Contents
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bod2011 Board of Directors


Joanne Sasvari (media)

Phone: 604-984-4618  


Jantine Van Kregten (industry)

Phone: 800-363-4465 ext. 116

Michele Sponagle (media)

Phone: 519-442-6605


Dale Dunlop (media)

Phone:  902-826-7713


Irene Knight (industry)

Phone: 416-601-4729


Liz Campbell (media)

Phone:  416-207-9150

Grant Fraser (media)

Phone:  905-844-7666

Judy Hammond (industry)

Phone: 416-920-5817

Catherine Kaloutsky (ex-officio)

Phone:  416-956-7683

Hélèna Katz (media)

Phone: 867-872-4123


Alberta chapter chair

Susan Mate (media)

Phone: 403-230-0731

Atlantic chapter chair

Sandra Phinney (media)

Phone: 902-648-0462

B.C. chapter chair

Jane Mundy (media) 

Phone: 604-251-4443 

Ontario chapter chair

Ron Brown (media)

Phone: 416-757-9798
New_MemberNew Members

Ian Tilson

President, Business Development

ITN Travel Group

Oakville, ON

Jennifer Nelson

Director of Communications

Regina Regional Opportunities Commission

Regina, SK

Bonnie Ruddock

Region 9 Regional Tourism Organization

Kingston, ON

Maureen Haley

Regional Director, Canada

Development Counsellors International

Toronto, ON 



Jody Robbins

Calgary, AB  

contributorsContributors to This Issue

 Ron Brown   


Dale Dunlop


Hélèna Katz


Susan Mate


Josephine Matyas


Jane Mundy


Sandra Phinney


Kate Pocock 


Joanne Sasvari


Mark Stevens


Jantine Van Kregten  


Travel season for media and industry is in full swing again. Wherever you are - at your office desk, in a plane, on a train, close to home or far afield - there's lots to catch up on and learn from in this issue of TMAC Travels.


- Josephine Matyas, TMAC Travels editor  
President_ReportPresident's Report
This issue of TMAC Travels is real treat for all its readers. Not only is it chock-a-block full of news about our association, but it's got great PD content as well. (Just wait till you read Kate Pocock's piece on bedbugs - you'll never travel the same way again.) And that makes me realize that we don't always acknowledge how much TMAC has to offer its members, and even when we do, we're not terribly good at telling the rest of the world about it.

All that's about to change, though.

On Nov. 8, the national board, chapter chairs and committee chairs held an exhaustive, day-long strategic planning meeting in Toronto, guided by The Planning Group's Peter Wright, to help us focus on the steps we need to take to meet the future. We entered the meeting room at the CN Tower filled with doubts and uncertainty; we left energized, committed and with a clear focus for the future.

That's right: TMAC now has a real, businesslike plan in place.

As you are no doubt aware, we've spent the last couple of years bringing our finances under control and clarifying TMAC's essential rules, regulations and processes. This has been hard work, and essential work, and it has made TMAC an infinitely better managed association, but it hasn't left us much room for big-picture forward planning. In many ways, Nov. 8 was the first chance we've had to take a deep breath and really look hard at TMAC and where we are going.

The good news is that TMAC's new plan will not only make better use of our volunteers' limited time and financial resources, but it will also have plenty of real, tangible value for our members.

For one thing, we have a strong commitment to improve the benefits we offer, starting with introducing a medical and dental insurance plan that we hope will be in place within a few months. That will be made easier now that Membership Benefits Committee Chair Liz Campbell has joined the board. (Welcome aboard, Liz - we're thrilled to have you!)

We are also taking steps to improve our volunteer structure and to create new revenue streams that don't rely so heavily on the conference and sponsorship from our members. With more money, we can offer more programs and better value to members.

But perhaps most importantly, we're about to embark on developing a cohesive communications strategy, one that will improve both internal and external communication. Frankly, it seems to me that for an association of communicators, nothing can be more important.

In the next 12 months, you can expect to see lots of changes, starting with an improved website and, eventually, a brand new one. We'll be adding social media to our communications toolbox, and making better use of the communications tools we already have, like the Listserv, which has evolved into a valuable professional means for our members to share tips, contacts and ideas.

As we go through this process, we'll be coming to you for input, and we look forward to hearing what you have to say. Personally, I can't tell you how exciting it is for me to have such a well-thought-out plan, to have clear steps for making that plan work and to have such a terrific team of people working together.

I could go on, but I'm sure you want to get to the great articles below. So I hope you all have a happy holiday and safe travels, wherever your travels lead you.

- Joanne Sasvari, TMAC national president  

Finance_GovernanceFinance Report
The third quarter financials are out, and were approved at the November board meeting. Members can look for them on the TMAC website in mid-November. The results continue to be good.

- Dale Dunlop, TMAC treasurer

bc_chapterChapter News

BRITISH COLUMBIA - Fredericton Tourism and New Brunswick Tourism generously hosted a social evening and membership recruitment event in October. About 50 people attended, including several prospective members. The October event was successful (great F&B) and generated a lot of enthusiasm for the May conference in Fredericton, so we think there will be a good representation from the B.C. chapter. Three members talked about the benefits of TMAC and President Joanne Sasvari updated us regarding national plans. Two of our media members won free flights to Fredericton, again generously donated by our hosts.

Our membership is holding at 80 (we gained one and lost one) but we are optimistic that this number will increase before our PD day next February. Slated for our PD day, a speaker from the Canadian Writers Group will give a presentation on group health insurance. As well, we are planning on having another tax/accounting session, focusing on the HST and GST.

We are still hopeful that the national board will advise us regarding our tentative plan to stage a regional marketplace in February, to include industry and media members from the Pacific Northwest and Alberta.

I am looking forward to attending the strategy meeting in Toronto and getting feedback regarding the regional marketplace.  


- Jane Mundy, B.C. chapter chair

ab_chapterALBERTA - The turkey is toast - as in, it's long gone - and the first flecks of snow are dusting the treetops, signalling the inevitable. We love winter in Alberta, and with Christmas looming, it's time to ditch the flip-flops we've been wearing since our jaunt to Jamaica in early May. (We vowed no socks until Thanksgiving.)

Though there's a chill in the air, the nice folks at Heritage Park Historical Village ( will warm up the season for the Alberta chapter on Nov. 15 with a preview of its annual Once Upon a Christmas festivities. If the weather cooperates, our Yuletide Munch & Mingle will include a beverage at the park saloon, followed by a tour of three decorated historic buildings, carolling and perhaps a sleigh ride - thanks to TMAC industry member Barb Munro for offering to host us.

We must be on a roll these days, because we had another great M&M Oct. 13 at the Cantos Music Foundation (, which is home to an incredible collection of more than a thousand artifacts from 200 BC onward that tell the story of music history. About 20 TMAC members and guests got a preview of the foundation's plans to develop the National Music Centre in Calgary's revitalized East Village, where the old King Edward Hotel now stands empty. Along with cocktails and great nibblies, guests were treated to a tour of antique instruments (including a rare Trasuntino harpsichord, one of just seven in the world).

Finally, our congratulations to TMAC members who took home trophies at the annual Travel Alberta ALTO Awards on Oct. 24 at the Fairmont Banff Springs. Heritage Park won for Service Excellence; Tourism Calgary and member partners were awarded for their "Experience WOW" marketing campaign. TMAC's ALTO finalists included yours truly (tourism media), Banff-Lake Louise Tourism (Australian social media campaign) and Edmonton Economic Development Corporation (Fresh Edmonton campaign). Congratulations one and all!  

- Susan Mate, Alberta membership co-chair

on_chapterONTARIO - The last few months have been all about PD sessions and countryside tours. In June, Kattrin Sieber of Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership rounded up a motor coach and several Ontario members headed up to the hills of Peterborough for a most informative tour of Peterborough and the Kawarthas tourist area. We were ushered onto a boat for an uplifting experience as we entered the famous Peterborough lift lock and elevated ourselves to the next level. Ann Marshall of Elmhirst's Resort on Rice Lake hosted us for lunch where we had an opportunity to meet many of the area's tourism partners. The afternoon took us to the Peterborough Canoe Museum with its display of canoes ranging from early dugouts to the Royal Canoes. The displays included Pierre Trudeau's famous buckskin jacket and a real silver canoe. For the evening, we did theatre in a barnyard and watched a hilarious production of Berlin Blues.


In July Lucy Izon held a very well received PD session on the fine art of Tweeting.


And in November another PD session was held jointly with SATW at the headquarters of Google to learn of the latest in the Google world, thanks in large part to the efforts of media member Gary Crallé.


On the matter of new chapters, our board would support new chapters wherever there is an interest and sufficient numbers. Members of the Ontario Board would also support the idea of putting together a "Tip Sheet" on forming new chapters, and would recommend that one of TMAC's founding members be invited to assist with start-up discussions and answer any questions. Chapter board chairs, and, in particular our own board members, could advise on such matters as PD sessions and munch and mingles.


Thanks to my most active board, and especially to co-chair Jerry Grymek, for all their hard work.

- Ron Brown (media), Ontario co-chair  



Chef Gordon Bailey
Chef Gordon Bailey
- Atlantic Chapter is committed to have 100 per cent member participation at TMAC's conference coming up in Fredericton next May. Anyone care to match that?

Media members George Burden and Dale Dunlop were among a group of seven who became the first tourists to set foot on Sable Island, N.S., after it was named a National Park Preserve. Turns out that it was pure serendipity that their pre-planned visit occurred the day after the announcement was made.

Jan Napier was inspired by Chef Gordon Bailey at the recent TMAC Atlantic weekend in Charlottetown, P.E.I. to pen a sexy celebrity chef story. Word is that the female staff at Advocate Media Inc. are still a lather over chef's poster worthy pic, submitted by Jan to accompany her food column.

The Westin Nova Scotian in Halifax is celebrating the grand opening of Elements on Hollis, the hotel's local/sustainable restaurant, which in turn has partnered with its neighbour, the Halifax Seaport Farmers' Market, to showcase products from over 35 local farmers, producers and fishermen. Topping off this news, Elements on Hollis was recently decorated with the Award of Excellence by Wine Spectator for its spectacular wine list.  

Destination Newfoundland is expanding its Convention Centre to double its size. More good news: Eastern Newfoundland has been invited to work with the Centre for Sustainable Destinations, National Geographic. Their tag line is: Working to protect the world's distinctive places through wisely managed tourism and enlightened destination stewardship. Stay tuned for more information.

Town of Yarmouth, N.S. notes that to date, $150,574 worth of editorial coverage was devoted to Yarmouth's 250th Anniversary celebration in 2011. Articles and features (print, radio, online) was provided by several TMAC members including Dave Finn, Mike Keenan, Sandra Phinney, Darcy Rhyno, Amy Rosen, Michele Sponagle and Isobel Warren. TMAC media member Bruce Bishop and Destination Marketing Coordinator for Yarmouth 250 says, "We're very pleased with the positive awareness Yarmouth was given by the travel media during our special anniversary this year. To think that the combined circulation of all sources was an astounding 1.9 million people in Canada alone can't do anything but help our local and province-wide tourism industry."

- Sandra Phinney, Atlantic chapter chair

member_committeeConference Committee Report

Registration is in full swing for the May 2 to 5, 2012 TMAC annual conference in beautiful Fredericton, New Brunswick! Don't delay; register today through or directly at

You have only until Jan. 10 to take advantage of the early-bird registration fees, a significant savings from the regular price. Media members should also register early to ensure the maximum choice for pre- and post-tours.

Watch for more details soon about the new media subsidy fund, which the board hopes will make it easier for media members to attend.

Industry members will also want to explore the various sponsorship options to ensure they are solidly represented at the conference. Check online at

The theme of this coming conference is The Art of Place and we think you'll agree that Fredericton is a spectacular place to explore in early May. Stay tuned for updates as the dates approach!

The conference committee has also been liaising with our 2013 conference host and is currently reviewing eight bids received from prospective 2014 hosts. The shortlist will be contacted in mid-November and site visits will be organized in early 2012. The committee was impressed with the quality of the bids - choosing a 2014 host will not be easy.

- Jantine Van Kregten, conference committee chair   

Back to Table of Contents 

Member_NewsMember News
Dave Hunter's new 3rd edition of Along Florida's Expressways has been officially endorsed by VISIT FLORIDA, as the book it uses for reference at its welcome centres.  


In a recent release, the state's tourism organization wrote: "Filled with insider tips, Along Florida's Expressways is an excellent resource for Sunshine State visitors and residents alike. VISIT FLORIDA's staff knows Florida well - and even we use Dave's driving guide."


Need a review copy? Email the Hunters at Enter "Review Copy" in the subject line.


boot_from_editorMatchmaker, Matchmaker: Getting Media Coverage

Helena Katz Nov/DecBy Hélèna Katz


TMAC media member Hélèna Katz talks about how to write a stand out story idea and match it to the right outlets.


Please click here to read the article.  

Back to Table of Contents 

straight_shooterThe Dreaded Query

Mark Stevens Nov/DecBy Mark Stevens  


TMAC member Mark Stevens shows how to conquer the dreaded query by following few simple rules.

Please click here to read the article.  

Three Minute PD Night Night, Sleep Tight: Here's How to Thwart That Bed Bug Bite  

Kate Pocock Nov/Decby Kate Pocock


TMAC member Kate Pocock writes about the "world's smallest vampires" and how to stop them hitching a ride with you.

Please click here to read the article.


TMAC Travels - Newsletter Submission Guidelines
Submissions should fit into one of the following categories:


Professional news about you: books published, awards won, new markets obtained, positions attained, requests for travel-related information (story-specific requests ONLY), contact/profile information updates/changes.

Social notices about you: weddings, babies, non-industry awards and so on (at the editor's discretion and with a 50-word limit; these must be things directly connected to the member).

NOT allowed: requests for comps (airfare, accommodation, tickets, etc.), assignment requests, promotion of stories already written.


Professional news about you/your company: announcement ONLY of new products, new clients, travel-related info requests, contact/profile updates/changes.

Social notices: as per Media, above.

NOT allowed: press releases, promotion of anything beyond new products, new clients or awards. (For information on distributing electronic press releases to all media members for a fee of $75, please contact TO Corp at

The newsletter also seeks chapter news and info on press trips (short descriptions with dates, rough itineraries, requirements - e.g. assignment letter) as well as tips, news and updates submitted by members.

Items must be sent, with "TMAC TRAVELS" in the subject line, to Josephine Matyas at Items may be edited for length, grammar or clarity. The newsletter will be delivered to members by e-mail regularly.  Material should be sent by the 1st of each month unless the editor gives prior approval.

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